Ukrainians, and many Europeans and Americans, are defining an envisioned Ukrainian victory as the complete expulsion of all Russians from its 2013 borders. Or, as a Ukrainian national security chief put it, the war ends with Ukrainian tanks in Red Square.
But mysteries remain about such ambitious agendas.
What would that goal entail?
Giving Ukraine American F-16s to strike bases and depots in Mother Russia? The gifting of 1,000 M1 Abrams tanks? Using American Harpoon missiles to sink the Russian Black Sea Fleet?
A huge arsenal that would guarantee total victory rather than not losing?
Russia’s cruel strategy is to grind down Ukraine and turn its eastern regions into a Verdun-like deathscape.
So is a brave Ukraine really winning the war when it loses about 0.6 soldiers for every Russian it kills?
Russia plans to leverage its extra 100 million people, its 10-times larger economy, and its 30-times larger territory to pulverize Ukraine and tire its Western patrons—whatever the costs to Russia.
Yet why were only a few in past administrations calling for a joint Western effort to expel Putin’s forces from the borderlands and Crimea captured in 2014?
Why are Putin’s 2014 invasions now seen as urgent rectifiable crimes of aggression in 2022, but were not regarded as reparable during the prior eight years?
Is the United States economically capable or politically unified or socially stable enough to wage a huge proxy war on the frontiers of a nuclear Russia?
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Author: Ruth King
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